THE QUIET MAN: THE ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD DOG IN THE SHOW RING
Both short and rough coats are shown in the same ring, and neither coat length is given preference over the other. The protective nature of the coat is what is most important.
Bottom line? The Anatolian is not a “hail-fellow-well-met” sort of dog. He is the quiet guy, sitting by himself in the corner of a crowded room, watchful, aware of all the exits and how long it will take to reach them should the need arise. He is the one that will redirect a noisy bar patron (or a predator) who is behaving inappropriately and, if the miscreant fails to heed his warning, then he will show him to the exit with little extraneous fuss and resume his post in the corner. The Anatolian is easily overlooked in a ring full of boisterous Boxers, Dobermans, and Rottweilers, flash- ily posing for bait at the ends of their leads. He is silent when standing next to the woo-woo-ing Samoyeds and Malamutes. He is quiet, strong, and stalwart. These are the traits that have made him the frontline of defense for shepherds for thousands of
with no grooming products having been used. A good brushing is all that is required to have them ring ready. You are less likely to see overuse of grooming products when presented with owner- handled dogs. The only times I have seen dogs in the ring with obvious trimming and product use have been when they were being presented by professional handlers. In short, you are looking for a large (not giant), solid, moderate, well-balanced dog with a quiet, calm, serious demeanor, either short- or rough- coated, and with fluid, functional movement.
years, and they must be viewed as absolutely critical to breed type. A COAT OF MANY COLORS (AND TWO LENGTHS)
The Anatolian comes in two coats; a short coat that is approximately one inch long and a rough coat that can be up to four inches long. It is a double coat, with heavier coat around the neck and shoulders and on the rears of the thighs. Seasonal and regional differences will impact the amount of coat a dog carries. But no matter what time of year or location in which you find yourself judging, Anatolians should always have a double coat with a weather-resistant outercoat and an insulating undercoat. The breed is known for being tolerant of extremes of heat and cold in their working environment, and the coat is purely functional. Rough- coated dogs may have a heavy fringe on the ears and tail, and feathering on the backs of the legs. Both short and rough coats are shown in the same ring, and neither coat length is given preference over the other. The protective nature of the coat is what is most important. Color is the least important aspect of the Anatolian. You may see any color and coat pattern except for merle. The merle gene does not exist in the breed. The most common colors you will see are fawn (with or without a black, blue or liver mask), white, and cream. Fawn will range in shade from a pale fawn, through yellow-gold- en, to red fawn. Coat patterns include brindle, pinto, and Irish or Dutch marked. Some dogs will also exhibit a darker overlay or sable pattern to the coat. As long as the coat is weather-resistant, the color and markings are immaterial. Remember, the coyote trying to make a meal out of your livestock does not care what color the dog is that is telling him to go grocery shopping somewhere else. There is a dilution gene present in the breed. Blue-colored dogs will have dark grey or blue pigment, liver-colored dogs will have brown pigment, and cream-colored dogs will have a flesh-colored pigment that is not pink. Pigment should be complete around the lips, nose, and eye rims. Eyes will always be some shade of brown, from light golden to a dark brown. Blue eyes are a disqualification. As a judge, you have a right to expect the dogs in your ring to be as clean as possible. Anatolians are a purely utilitarian breed and, as such, they should never be shown in an artificial manner. There is NO trimming to be done on an Ana- tolian, other than its nails. Dogs are shown in their natural state, whiskers intact,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR I’m a native Texan and live in Central Texas. I have been showing dogs since 1972. I have been involved with Australian Cattle Dogs since 2003 and Anatolian Shepherd Dogs since 2007. I read about the two breeds in Braund’s Uncommon Dog Breeds book when I was in junior high, and I made up my mind then that I would have both breeds. I teach handling classes two evenings a week and cater to my dogs the rest of the time.
252 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2021
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